News & Features
Congratulations to our Flash Fiction winners
By- 07 July 2020 - 11:23am
Our Autumn Edition returns November 4-6
By- 07 July 2020 - 11:23am
We are grateful to our judges: Festival Chair Liz Fothergill, debut author Russ Thomas (whose crime novel Firewatching was published in February 2020) and soon-to-be published author Jane Bettany, for their careful consideration of the shortlisted stories. The shortlist was drawn up by a small team led by Jackie Carpenter, who organised this year’s competition. Jackie and her team, which included one of last year’s winners Stella Truby, had the challenge of reading all the entries. They chose a winner in each category and two highly commended runners-up.
Congratulations to them all.
Each winning story will be illustrated and produced as Festival bookmarks later this year to promote our 2021 Festival.
Sadly, due to the lockdown, we did not receive any entries from HMP Foston Hall or Sudbury but we hope to include them in next year’s competition.
WINNERS AND HIGHLY COMMENDED
18 and over
Fiona Ritchie Walker
A rush of leaving. For each of her children - a jar. Fourth generation. The line strong as blood, back to the mother dough. Something of the old country now rising in unfamiliar ovens. Break the crust, share the bread, swallow down tears. Then the smiles. Each house, now home.
A thousand miles of walking. Rivers. Mountains. Snow, burning heat. Borders, barbed wire, men with guns. Numbed limbs, bleeding feet. Hunger, always the hunger. And forever the same. 'Go back', 'go away', 'no place for you here'. Harried, spat at, abused. 'Go home'. There is no home. But hope endures.
Summoning all his strength, muscles taught in anticipation, he launched himself upwards. His translucent body glistened, twisting and turning, in hope but fading expectation. Exhaustion. Nothing left to give. Suddenly, incessant spray gave way to calm. He’d made it. He was home – where life began and the future lay.
12-17 year olds
Wind against me, my pony tail whipping my face, crowd chanting Meg! It's the best feeling. The whistle blows, my heart starts to beat. Bell rings for last lap, I’m in first place, sprinting the final 100m to the finish line, my family cheering! The running track my home.
The garden was filled with birds chirping and dandelions swaying their heads in the wind. My sister Rafi was climbing trees while Gaia, my other sister was sitting, reading at the brown, wooden table. As I took in all this I felt a lovely bubble of happiness fill my body.
Gunshots sound in the streets. Shaking, I pack my bag. I allow myself one final look at my humble surroundings. So many beautiful memories. Now, that beauty is being destroyed forever. I must go. Tomorrow I will be far away and I might never see home, or my family, again.
11 years and under
Soldier’s Way Home
Wearily, he strode up the lane. Contentment and joy ran through his aching body at the sight of his home: an image which had sustained him for so long. His thoughts turned to his friends who could not return. Their sacrifice brought him home. He would remember them often.
Running away would be better? Noah sat cold, hungry and afraid under the lights of a disused subway. He longed for the roast dinner he always told his mum he hated. He'd been wrong- he realised that now. Home was his safe place- all he ever needed was home.
Home Sweet Home
Tommy was walking very slowly. His tummy was full after eating his salad. Tommy heard a loud noise that scared him. Someone was behind him. He wanted to get home quickly! Like lightning, he pulled his head back into his tortoise shell, just as the dog ran by. Home. Safe!
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